WordCraft LA Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp

Following the success of our Writers’ Resolution Boot Camp last year, we’re now offering an expanded 13-week program with separate tracks for fiction and memoir writers. From generating ideas to building an author platform, we’ll help you make significant progress on a writing project and start the year off right! For only $90, you will receive inspiration and motivation in the form of weekly e-mails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. Contact us today to get started!

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Monday
Dec232013

Our Gift to You: A Holiday Sample

Want a free sample of what you’ll be getting every day in January if you sign up for the WordCraft Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp? Check out this post on concision, precision, and rhythm—three elements that focus specifically on improving sentence strength. Like this one, each day’s post is designed to work for fiction or nonfiction. You’ll get inspiration, practical advice, prompts, and links to more information on each day’s topic. Interested? Take a look the whole month’s calendar.


Concision, Precision, and Rhythm
 

Language is more than words. Language is music and rhythm; it is sound, rhyme, and sibilance; it is texture and layers. Art and graffiti. Language is attitude and place, geography and history. Language is family and what you heard at the kitchen table and on the back porch, muffled behind closed doors and shouted up from stairwells. Language is what you do with words and it is the silence between the words. — Judy Reeves 

Plot is important. Characters are important. Yet many writers and critics would say what makes fiction and memoir “literary” is the level of attention paid to the sentence. Concision, precision, and rhythm are three elements that focus specifically on improving sentence strength, although they can be applied to paragraphs and concepts as well. One excellent method for this type of revising is reading aloud and listening to how the writing sounds. 

Concision, otherwise known as brevity, is the technique of making things concise—every word serves a purpose. Einstein once said that you should make things as simple as possible, but no simpler. He was talking about the theory of relativity, but this idea applies to clarity of expression as well. Concision does not mean your work is bland or unadorned; it means you have used your mastery of the language to choose the perfect, most precise, and as a result, most interesting way to express an idea.

Precision most often refers to word choice. Focusing on precision can mean that you replace two or more words with the one word that conveys their combined meaning. It helps to have a wide vocabulary, but just reading will expand your tool kit of words. For example, instead of writing a “rocky cliff,” you could use the word “crag.” Instead of writing “confused and agitated,” you might write “delirious.” In the first example, I had originally written “instead of saying a ‘rocky cliff’,” but we’re not considering your speaking style, so I changed it to “writing” to be precise. Be most creative with your verbs.

Rhythm is harder to define, but thinking of music can help. Songs don’t hit the same monotonous beat over and over. A song may begin slowly, adding instruments as the momentum builds, hit the bridge with a lot of energy, but then slow down again for the second verse. Using variation in sentence and paragraph length and pacing the delivery of details can create the same effect. Gary Provost makes it clear:

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

This excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov’s memoir Speak, Memory may not be the most concise passage, but you can’t deny his precision and rhythm. Note the use of alliteration, how adjacent words echo vowel sounds (bog/caught, cry/snipe, musk/musty), and how varying sentence length adds cadence. Also note the specificity of his word choice.

After making my way through some pine groves and alder scrub I came to the bog. No sooner had my ear caught the hum of diptera around me, the guttural cry of a snipe overhead, the gulping sound of the morass under my foot, than I knew I would find here quite special arctic butterflies, whose pictures, or still better, nonillustrated descriptions I had worshipped for several seasons....Through the smells of the bog, I caught the subtle perfume of butterfly wings on my fingers, a perfume which varies with the species—vanilla, or lemon, or musk, or a musty, sweetish odor difficult to define. Still unsated, I pressed forward. At last I saw I had come to the end of the marsh. The rising ground beyond was a paradise of lupines, columbines, and pentstemons. Mariposa lilies bloomed under Ponderosa pines. In the distance, fleeting cloud shadows dappled the dull green of slopes above timber line, and the gray and white of Longs Peak.

I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness—in a landscape selected at random—is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern—to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.

 

Prompt: Each of the following prompts will help you explore these stylistic strategies: 

____Choose a paragraph you’ve written and cut it down to as few words as possible without losing any meaning. Now, without looking at the original, rebuild it with precise words and details.

____Take something you’ve written and combine every two sentences into one. Do not just add “and” between the ideas. Keep only what is necessary. Try to create modifying phrases. Change “A cat slinked into the kitchen. The dog left the room.” to “When the cat slinked into the kitchen, the dog left the room.” or "The antagonistic animals switched rooms."

____Choose a paragraph you’ve written, preferably on the longer side, and count the words. Revise the paragraph by cutting 20%.

 

Consult the following resources for more information on concision, precision, and rhythm:

Amanda Christy Brown and Katherine Schulten, “Writing Rules! Advice from The New York Times on Writing Well”
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”
Michelle Seaton, “A Short Course in Line Editing”

 

Sign up for the Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp today!

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Sunday
Dec152013

Submission Sunday Hiatus & Boot Camp Countdown

We'll be taking a hiatus from Submission Sunday until January to work on our Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp.

For only $31—one dollar a day—we will take you through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission. Subscribers will receive daily emails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. We'll be there in your inbox every day to keep your writing on track.

Our WordCraft consultants represent decades of teaching, writing, and editing experience. You'll find two PhDs in English, an Oxford-educated tutor, a lecturer in the English department at UCLA, a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, a former editor to Hunter S. Thompson, and multi-genre book and journal editors. We bring a wide variety of perspectives, academic training, and knowledge to the table, and we have a lot to say about words that work.

The price of admission also gets you 15% off one of our consulting services (editing, critique, coaching, submission consultation) at the end of the month. 

Start 2014 with us and discover the tools to keep writing all year. Have you seen our January boot camp schedule? Sign up today!

 

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Friday
Dec132013

What You Get for Your $31

  • Your first completed resolution for 2014
  • Inspiration and motivation 
  • Guidance through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission 
  • Daily quotes from your favorite writers
  • Tips and commentary on craft from WordCraft’s four experienced consultants, among whom you will find:
    • two PhDs in English
    • an Oxford-educated tutor
    • a lecturer in the English department at UCLA
    • a former editor to Hunter S. Thompson
    • a writing instructor at Caltech
    • a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow
    • years of editing experience at literary journals, publishers, and universities
  • Daily writing prompts designed to work for fiction or nonfiction
  • Links to other resources on the web related to each day’s topic
  • 15% off one of our consulting services (editing, critique, coaching, submission consultation) at the end of the month
  • A discussion forum where you can interact with the WordCraft crew and other boot campers, asking questions and exchanging ideas
  • A kick in the butt every morning
  • The tools to keep writing all year
     
    Enter your subscription email


Click through below to see a complete schedule for January.

Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp Schedule

Monday
Dec092013

Writers' Boot Camp: Here's the Drill

Join us in January for our first month-long Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp. For only $31—one dollar a day—we will take you through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission. Subscribers will receive daily emails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. We'll be there in your inbox every day to keep your writing on track. Start 2014 with us and discover the tools to keep writing all year.

*Subject to change, substitution, and “what were we thinking?”

Enter your subscription email


Click through below for a PDF version of the schedule.

Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp

Sunday
Dec082013

Submission Sunday 12.8.13

Join us in January for our first month-long Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp. 

For only $31—one dollar a day—we will take you through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission. Subscribers will receive daily emails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. We'll be there in your inbox every day to keep your writing on track.


360 Xochi Quetzal: Spring Artist Residency in Central Mexico (Deadline January 18)

The 360 XOCHI QUETZAL Artist and Writers Residency Program is located in Chapala, Mexico on the shores of the largest lake in Mexico where the perfect year-round climate and stunning lake and mountain views have long established the region as an international artist mecca.

Three residents will be chosen for each residency. We encourage applications from visual artists, writers, new media makers and musicians. Residents will be inspired by the natural beauty, history and culture of this special part of central Mexico. Chapala is located 25 minutes from an international airport and 45 minutes from Guadalajara, one of the largest cities in Mexico boasting abundant cultural resources: museums, galleries, theatre and artist supplies. Xochi Quetzal is the Aztec goddess of creativity and fertility and protector of artisans.  She is sure to inspire you during your stay!


2014 December Awards: First Annual Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize and Curt Johnson Prose Awards in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction (Deadline February 1 – $1500)

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Monday
Dec022013

Announcing Our First Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp!


J
oin us in January for our first month-long Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp


For only $31—one dollar a day—we will take you through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission. Subscribers will receive daily emails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. We'll be there in your inbox every day to keep your writing on track.

The price of admission also gets you 15% off one of our consulting services (editing, critique, coaching, submission consultation) at the end of the month. 

Our WordCraft consultants represent decades of teaching, writing, and editing experience. You'll find two PhDs in English, an Oxford-educated tutor, a lecturer in the English department at UCLA, a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, a former editor to Hunter S. Thompson, and multi-genre book and journal editors. We bring a wide variety of perspectives, academic training, and knowledge to the table, and we have a lot to say about words that work.

Start 2014 with us and discover the tools to keep writing all year. 
 

Enter your subscription email

Sunday
Dec012013

Submission Sunday 12.1.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for customized submission assistance.


Phoebe: Journal of Literature and Art Winter Writing Contests (Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction – Deadline February 1 – $750-$1000)

Phoebe prides itself on supporting up-and-coming writers, whose style, form, voice, and subject matter demonstrate a vigorous appeal to the senses, intellect, and emotions of our readers. We choose our writers because we believe their work succeeds at its goals, whether its goals are to uphold or challenge literary tradition.

We insist on openness, which means we welcome both experimental and conventional prose and poetry, and we insist on being entertained, which means the work must capture and hold our attention, whether it be the potent language of a poem or the narrative mechanics of a short story.

We are now accepting submissions for our annual fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry contests. The winners will be published this spring in Phoebe 43.1. We encourage you to take a look at our past contest winners. We are thrilled to be working with such talented judges (Eduardo C. Corral, Benjamin Percy, and Cheryl Strayed), and look forward to reading your work. Submit online and send us the best you’ve got!


Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards (Deadline December 16 – Recognition)

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Sunday
Nov242013

Submission Sunday 11.24.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for customized submission assistance.


The 2013 Iowa Review Awards (Deadline January 31 – $1500)

Each January since 2003, The Iowa Review has invited submissions to The Iowa Review Awards, a writing contest in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Winners receive $1,500; first runners-up receive $750. Winners and runners-up will be published in our December 2014 issue.

Judges for the 2014 Iowa Review Awards will be Robyn Schiff (poetry), Rachel Kushner (fiction), and David Shields (nonfiction). Past judges have included ZZ Packer, Susan Orlean, Brenda Hillman, Li-Young Lee, Ann Patchett, Michael Cunningham, Jo Ann Beard, Susan and Phillip Lopate. 

Submit up to 25 pages of prose (double-spaced) or 10 pages of poetry (one poem or several, but no more than one poem per page). To submit online, visit iowareview.submittable.com between January 1 and 31, 2014, and follow the instructions.


Disquiet International Literary Program Prize (Deadline February 14 – Full scholarship to Lisbon program)

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Sunday
Nov172013

Submission Sunday 11.17.13

Indiana Review Call for Submissions (Special Themed Folio: "Middle Space" – Deadline December 15)

Now in its thirty-seventh year of publication, Indiana Review is a non-profit literary magazine dedicated to showcasing the talents of emerging and established writers. Our mission is to offer the highest quality writing within a wide aesthetic. As a biannual literary review, IR considers previously unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, visual art, interviews, and reviews. IR is edited and managed by Indiana University graduate students and funded mainly by subscriptions, grants, and partial university support.

Bending the rules of craft is not a new thing. Bold steps and subtle transformations are how we move forward in literature, in society, and in ourselves. For a special folio in our Summer 2014 issue, we’re seeking work—in both form and content—that blurs genres and breaks down preconceptions, narratives of transgression that make us question our boundaries of what a literary work is and can do. Keywords to consider and inspire: boundaries, borders, limits, edges, duality, on the verge, transformation, transgression, travel, movement, bodies, collapse, collage, correspondence, collaboration, middle space.


Arcadia Magazine 2014 Short Story Contest (Deadline February 15 – $1000)

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Sunday
Nov102013

Submission Sunday 11.10.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for customized submission consultation.


Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Residency Fellowship (Deadline December 15)

This new fellowship program gives former Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference attendees a month-long residency stay at the Camargo Foundation in the charming and picturesque seaside town of Cassis, France, providing the opportunity for intensive and undivided attention to their work within a focused and serious community of fellow writers.

Writers who attended Bread Loaf in Vermont or Bread Loaf in Sicily between 2004-2013 may apply for the 2014 residency. Applicants who have previously received a Bread Loaf Fellowship, Tuition Scholarship, or Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship are not eligible. The Bakeless Camargo Residency Fellowships support a month’s stay at the Camargo Foundation, providing an apartment as well as stipends for travel and food.  Supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Katharine Bakeless Nason Endowment and the Camargo Foundation, this remarkable new residency program creates a partnership between two arts organizations that have long and distinguished histories of helping writers develop their craft and of providing the time and space in which to complete significant projects.  


Denver Quarterly Call for Submissions (Deadline May 15)

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Sunday
Nov032013

Submission Sunday 11.3.13

Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for individual submission consultation.


MARY: A Journal of New Writing  Call for Submissions (Deadline November 10)

MARY: A Journal of New Writing is a student run online arts journal sponsored by Saint Mary’s College of California’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Since 2002, MARY has published contemporary poetry and prose from a diverse group of talented emerging writers and established artists, including: D.A. Powell, Peter Orner, Gillian Conoley, Bruce Smith, Elizabeth Robinson, Rebecca Curtis, Carol Snow, K. Silem Mohammad, Matthew Zapruder, and Dorathea Lasky. MARY Magazine has also conducted interviews with award-winning writers such as Michael Palmer, Nick Flynn, Susan Steinberg, Michael Pollan, John D’Agata, Jo Ann Beard, Mary Roach, Forrest Gander, and Kent Johnson. MARY is currently reading submissions of creative non fiction, fiction, and poetry. 


Rose Metal Press Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest (Deadline December 1 – Publication)

 

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Sunday
Oct272013

Submission Sunday 10.27.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for individual submission consultation.


Bellagio Center arts & literary arts residencies are for composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, multi-media and visual artists seeking time for disciplined work, reflection, and collegial engagement, uninterrupted by the usual professional and personal demands. The Center typically offers one-month stays for three to five artists at a time, in a diverse community of resident fellows from fields that include the natural sciences, social scientists, as well as political and non-profit organization leaders. This diverse community reflects the Foundation's belief in the creative and innovative power of interdisciplinary interactions.

The Center consists of several buildings in 55 acres grounds on Lake Como in Northern Italy: the Villa Serbelloni and Villa Maranese house the resident fellows (scholars, practitioners and artists); the Sfondrata and Frati buildings are reserved for meetings. The town of Bellagio, immediately adjacent to the Bellagio Center, is located in northern Italy at the point where Lake Como divides to form its Lecco and Como arms. It is approximately 75 km. (47 miles) north of Milan.


The Found Poetry Review Dog-Ear Poetry Contest (Deadline October 31 – $100)

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Saturday
Oct192013

Submission Sunday 10.20.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for individual submission consultation.


RHINO Poetry Founders' Prize (Deadline October 31 – $300 plus publication and Pushcart nomination)

The Poetry Forum, Inc. was founded in 1976 as a poetry workshop, and RHINO Poetry was started as an outlet for the work of members of The Poetry Forum. Since then, RHINO Poetry has become a regionally and nationally recognized annual collection of literature by new and established writers, and our workshops and readings have served countless emerging and established poets in Illinois.

All contest submissions will also be considered for regular publication in the 2014 edition of RHINO Poetry.

  • The winner will receive $300.00, publication in the next issue, and will be featured on our website, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
  • Two runners up will receive $50.00, publication in the next issue, and will be featured on our website. We occasionally nominate a runner-up for a Pushcart Prize.


Bellevue Literary Review Call for Submissions (Theme Issue: "Our Fragile Environment" – Deadline February 1)

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Sunday
Oct132013

Submission Sunday 10.13.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for individual submission consultation.


The Fiddlehead 23rd Annual Contest for Short Fiction and Poetry (Deadline December 1– $2000)

Canada's longest living literary journal, The Fiddlehead is published four times a year at the University of New Brunswick, with the generous assistance of the University of New Brunswick, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of New Brunswick. First published in 1945, The Fiddlehead is known as a WHO'S WHO in Can. Lit. Many — now well-known — writers have found their first home in our pages, and they, as well as some of our editors and assistants, have gone on to win awards and prizes across the country and around the world. Do not look at this journal as old! It is experienced; wise enough to recognize excellence; always looking for freshness and surprise. 

Enter The Fiddlehead's 23rd Annual Contest today! The winning entries will be published in the spring 2014 issue of The Fiddlehead (no. 259) and on our web site. The winning authors will be paid for publication in addition to their prizes!

$2,000 Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem
$250 each for Two Honourable Mentions

$2,000 for Best Story
$250 each for Two Honourable Mentions


Digital Americana 501 Word Writing Contest (Deadline December 1 – Publication and short film production)

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Thursday
Oct102013

Alice Munro Wins the Nobel Prize in Literature (Roundup)

Of course, the most exciting news of the day is that Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize! Here's a roundup of some readings and reactions.

Coverage of the win from...

The Atlantic

BBC News

Flavorwire

Los Angeles Times

New York Times

NPR

The Onion

Slate


Some stories by Munro at...

Granta

The New Yorker

Open Culture


Interviews with Munro in...

The New Yorker

Paris Review

Virginia Quarterly Review


Miscellaneous...

"10 Reasons Why Alice Munro Is a Genius" (The Globe and Mail)

"A Beginner's Guide to Alice Munro" (The Millions)

"Getting Started with Alice Munro" (Book Riot)

"I Once Thought I Didn't Like Alice Munro" (Slate)

Jonathan Franzen's review of "Runaway" in the New York Times

Lauren Groff reads Munro's story "Axis"

Lorrie Moore on Alice Munro

Munro on building a story

Review of Dear Life in New York Review of Books

Tuesday
Oct082013

How To Make Sense of College Application Writing Supplements

 

In a smart recent piece for theatlantic.com, Julia Ryan asks an entirely reasonable question: why do colleges ask students to be wise beyond their years when responding the supplementary writing prompts on their applications? Ryan cites, among others, supplementary questions posed by Tufts University (“What makes you happy?”) and Brown University (in reference to a quotation from Anatole France, “What don’t you know?”) that seem to require students to grapple meaningfully with life’s great questions while still being their true and sincere selves. 

Ryan makes the point that a seventeen-year-old’s real answer to the question “What makes you happy?” isn’t likely to reveal that seventeen-year-old as a great sage or humanitarian. She notes that, had she been honest, her own answer “probably would have involved Ben and Jerry’s and a new episode of Gossip Girl,” and wouldn’t, in all likelihood, have improved her chances of admission at elite colleges and universities. As a high school senior, my own uncensored answer to that question would certainly have involved reading, but I would have been disingenuous had I left out the fashion magazines I loved and pretended to embrace only Great Works of Literature.

I’m reminded of a discussion I once had with my AP English students about whether it was fair for colleges to look at your Facebook page while making admissions decisions. Many of them believed that it was terribly unfair to deny college admission to a kid who happened to have posted a single picture of himself holding a red Solo cup at a party. But the part of the conversation that really struck me came when a student said she was afraid to post anything about her real cultural tastes in case those tastes were judged not serious enough. Should she be saying that she loved Dostoyevsky and Proust, just in case colleges might be looking—and, in a similar vein, should she pretend no knowledge of Twilight or “Glee”? I told her that unless she really loved Dostoyevsky’s works, claiming an affinity would be both hypocritical and unhelpful, whether she “liked” him on Facebook or wrote about him for a college essay.

Supplementary writing prompts, which some colleges require in addition to the main personal statement required by the Common Application, range from the mundane to the ridiculous. Most of them ask students to explain why they want to attend a particular institution, or why they’ve chosen a particular field of study, but increasingly, these supplements take the broad philosophical approach demonstrated by the examples from Tufts and Brown. In addition, colleges ask for applicants to answer short personal questions: USC, for example, asks that prospective students describe themselves in three words and list, among others, their favorite movie, role model, and favorite food. I’ve seen students agonize over their answers to these questions, but unless a student listed “the blood of my enemies” as her favorite food, I can’t imagine a scenario in which the answers could be truly meaningful to an admissions officer.

My original advice about college essays—be yourself—holds doubly true for supplementary questions. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, or to have thought deep thoughts you haven’t yet entertained. If in doubt, engage with the question by questioning or exploring it at face value: explain why you feel you haven’t yet suffered anything that could meaningfully be described as adversity, or reflect on how long the list of things you don’t know seems to be. Or choose a different question, if you’re able to—most colleges offer a range of options. Above all, don’t feel compelled to tie yourself in knots attempting to appear brilliant and unique. The person who would answer the question that way isn’t you, and you (not the Proust fan who has been singlehandedly raising funds for Lithuanian orphans since the age of nine) are the one who will need to feel at home in the college you ultimately choose.


Posted by Megan Stephan

Image via oxbirdgessays.com

Sunday
Oct062013

Submission Sunday 10.6.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for individual submission consultation.


North American Review Call for Submissions

Founded in Boston in 1815, the North American Review is the oldest literary magazine in the US. Published at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) since 1968, on six occasions during that period, it has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award (the magazine equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and it has twice won the top award in the Fiction category—in head-to-head competition with The New YorkerHarper’sThe Atlantic Monthly, and so on. No other university-sponsored periodical has an equivalent record of achievement. 

 Published four times each year, the North American Review is well-known for its early discovery of young, talented fiction writers and poets. But it also publishes creative nonfiction, with emphasis on increasing concerns about environmental and ecological matters, multiculturalism, and exigent issues of gender and class. 

We are interested in high-quality poetry, fiction, and nonfiction on any subject; however, we are especially interested in work that addresses contemporary North American concerns and issues, particularly with the environment, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and class. We like stories that start quickly and have a strong narrative arc. Poems that are passionate about subject, language, and image are welcome, whether they are traditional or experimental, whether in formal or free verse (closed or open form). Nonfiction should combine art and fact with the finest writing. We read poetry, fiction, and nonfiction year-round.


StoryQuarterly Third Annual Fiction Contest (Deadline October 31 – $1000)

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Friday
Oct042013

Coming Soon! College Application Essay Workshop – October 19

Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?”

Los Angeles-area high school seniors: do you know how to respond to this essay prompt? How about this one?

“Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?”


The Common Application prompts—the essay questions at the heart of the application for more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad—have been revised for 2013-2014. You will be the first group of applicants to use these prompts. What will you write?

WordCraft LA is offering a one-day intensive workshop for high school seniors to help you construct a strong personal statement that will let your individual voice shine through. Even if you are not applying to a school that uses the Common Application, the skills you will learn in this workshop can be used for any question on any application.

If you want to write the best college essay you can—one that will make you stand out to admissions readers, because it communicates who you are and what you can offer to their campus—come and join us on October 19 from 11-5 at the Silver Lake Library (2411 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles 90039). Lunch will be provided.

The cost per student is $225 (payable in advance, please). This workshop is limited to 12 participants—sign up early.

At WordCraft, we are professional teachers, writers, and editors. We have a lot of experience working with high school and college students on all kinds of writing. Our workshop will allow you to get ahead of the application process by giving you the chance to complete a draft of your Common Application essay well before early decision/early action deadlines.

For more information, e-mail us at wordcraft@wordcraftla.com.

Tuesday
Oct012013

WordCraft at the West Hollywood Book Fair

Megan, Chris, Sacha, and Jennifer before our editing workshop last weekend at the West Hollywood Book Fair.

Sunday
Sep292013

Submission Sunday 9.29.13


Our consultants can help you edit your drafts, prepare your submissions, and find places to submit! Contact us for individual submission consultation.


Milkweed Editions Call for Unsolicited Manuscripts (Fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, YA – Deadline September 30)

Milkweed Editions is a nonprofit literary press, publishing between fifteen and twenty books each year. Founded in 1980, we have published nearly three hundred titles and are committed to attracting and retaining outstanding writers whose work is of enduring value. Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.

Milkweed Editions is happy to accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors of all backgrounds (previously published or not), and our editorial staff reviews each submission. In return, we ask that you familiarize yourself with our publishing list in order to determine if your manuscript is a good fit for our press. Just as the milkweed plant is the site of metamorphosis for butterflies, Milkweed Editions serves as a source of publications that transcend boundaries and foster transformation. We identify and nurture outstanding literary voices and connect writers with readers in new and innovative ways. We are a driving force for sustaining outstanding literature and exceptional authors in the context of profound changes in the field.


Blank Fiction Magazine Call for Submissions (Theme Issues: Literary Fiction – October 15; Science Fiction and Noir Fiction – TBA) 

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